WINDSOR, ON, Nov. 20 /CNW/ - The devastating news today that auto parts
maker Lear Corporation is closing its Windsor plant with the loss of more than
160 jobs is another tough blow for workers and a community already reeling
from high unemployment, CAW President Buzz Hargrove says.
Hargrove blasted the federal Conservative government for standing idly by
while unfair trade deals and the high Canadian dollar wreak havoc on the
Canadian auto sector and Canadian manufacturing overall.
"Lear's announcement today is another example of the devastating closures
that continue to rip through the auto parts, auto assembly and manufacturing
sectors," Hargrove said. "The Harper government's refusal to take action on
unfair trade agreements and the high value of the Canadian dollar is causing
severe hardship for thousands of Canadian workers, their families, many
communities and especially Windsor, which has the highest unemployment rate of
any major Canadian city."
Auto imports from Korea, Japan and the European community continue to
take market share away from North American auto makers at a time when North
American manufacturers are refused the same access into those markets.
"It's clear that this do nothing approach by the Harper government at a
time of severe hardship for manufacturing workers must end," Hargrove said.
"We need leadership from our elected representatives on these crucial issues.
Why are we only getting excuses and denials?" Hargrove asked.
Hargrove is once again calling on the Prime Minister to take four
immediate steps to deal with the crisis. These include withdrawing immediately
from negotiations with the government of South Korea for a free trade
agreement that will significantly worsen the lopsided automotive trade deficit
Canada has with Korea.
Hargrove is also demanding the Harper government give notice to the
Governments of Japan, South Korea, China, and the European Union that we will
not tolerate the one-way inflow of automotive imports that is the root cause
of the market share losses and the resulting downsizing of production and
employment by North American automakers.
Their future exports to the Canadian market must depend on quantitative
commitments to purchase equivalent values of automotive products back from us.
In addition the Conservative government must work with the Bank of Canada
to reduce interest rates, and signal to currency markets that the dollar's
current levels are undesired and unsustainable. They must also take other
measures to reduce the dollar's value, as well, such as tightening
restrictions on foreign takeovers of Canadian firms, he said.
Hargrove is also asking the government to act immediately with other auto
stakeholders to finally develop and implement a long-awaited auto strategy for
Canada that would include supports for new investment, infrastructure, skills,
and other essential features.
For further information:
For further information: contact CAW Communications, John McClyment,